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Tangerine

4/10

Stars: Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Mya Taylor, Karren Karagulian, James Ransone, Clu Gulager, Mickey O'Hagan

Director: Sean Baker

This film, which focuses on transgender prostitutes in a seedier quarter of LA, although very much an acquired taste, is just a mite better than you might expect from the subject.

The scene towards the end, when all interested parties converge on the Donut Diner, soon screeching raucously at one another, is actually quite fun, as are one or two of the wisecrack lines - when you can hear them.

Two genuine transgender girls, Rodriguez and Taylor, star as the principal hookers involved, Sin-Dee and Alexandra. Motormouth Sin-Dee is fresh out of jail, only to be told by Alex that her pimp and fiancÚ (Ransone) has been having sex with another girl while Sin-Dee was serving her time.

Also on the scene is Armenian taxi-driver Razmik (Karagulian), who we see with various passengers, including an elderly Cherokee called Mia (veteran Gulager), but whose main interest quickly becomes apparent: spending the money that should be going to his extended family on transgender hookers.

So there are a few sparks of interest here. The film, however, in the final reckoning, is pretty much as wearing as Sin-Dee, and I've no idea why it's called Tangerine.

David Quinlan

USA 2015. UK Distributor: Metrodome. Colour by duArt.
91 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 2, Swearing 3.

Review date: 11 Nov 2015